The Nordic winners at the Northern Character Film and TV Festival in Murmansk, Russia

Russia’s northernmost international film festival, the Northern Character Film and TV Festival, was held in Murmansk in far-north Russia (close to the Norwegian border) over the weekend.

The festival focuses on people living in the North who have managed to understand the rough beauty of the environment and use it as inspiration for others and their work. A total of 130 films were submitted from 40 Russian regions, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The winner of the Grand Prix was Priest of Burden, made by Fridjof Kjæreng from Norway. It tells the story of the priest Børre Knudsen, the most famous anti-abortion activist in Norway. His demonstrations around the country, often involving the use of baby dolls, made him one of the most hated men in the country.

The award for Best Documentary Debut went to Simen Braathen, the director of the Norwegian documentary Arctic Superstar. The documentary tells the story of Sami rapper SlinCraze.

The Best Youth Programme went to Mission Arctic by Mattis Høyem and Per Einar Grønmo. The Norwegian series follows four children who ski to the North Pole to witness the dramatic events of climate change. The kids then go to the Paris climate meeting to voice their concerns.

The Norwegian public broadcaster NRK Troms won the prize for Best TV Program with An Adventure Through the Lens by Helga Bones and Harald Albrigtsen for their portrayal of the famous nature photographer, Audun Rikardsen.

Photo: Hilde Korsæth

More info: Festival Website


Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.